LONDON — The United Kingdom issued a warning on Wednesday that cyber groups affiliated with Russia were targeting critical infrastructure within the country and across the West.
The warning marks the latest escalation between the Kremlin and Western capitals more than a year after Moscow invaded Ukraine. So far, such cyberattacks have primarily focused on Ukrainian infrastructure, though Western officials have repeatedly warned that similar attacks could expand outside the Eastern European country.
“It has become clear that certain state-aligned groups have the intent to cause damage to critical national infrastructure organizations, and it is important that the sector is aware of this,” Marsha Quallo-Wright, director for critical national infrastructure at the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center, said in a statement.
Currently, these attacks have focused primarily on websites from government agencies and companies. But Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State in the U.K.’s Cabinet Office, said these politically-motivated groups were expanding their operations to target the likes of energy and telecommunications infrastructure. He added that London had not identified evidence that such attacks had taken place yet.
“We won’t allow these groups to stay in the shadows,” Dowden told an audience in Belfast. “We want companies to understand the threats they currently face and to take action to defend themselves and the country against such attacks.”